One of Australia’s premiere
performance poets, David
Hallett has been writing and performing
his poetry since the mid-70’s. During the past 40 years David
has developed an innovative, accessible, highly entertaining and
original form of spoken word performance.
David won the 2019
Reciter of the Year Award in Canberra at the National Folk Festival.
Twice winner of the Poetry Olympics at the Sydney Writers Festival
at the Opera House in 1995, and again in ’97 at the Lyric Theatre.
Byron Bay Writers Festival Poetry Prize in 1999, the Nimbin
Performance Poetry World Cup 2003 and the Spirit of Woodford Story
Award 2005, the Woodford Festival Wordfood Poetry Slam 2012 and
Byron Bay Writers Festival Poetry Slam 2013.
He has performed and
toured extensively at festivals, schools, colleges, universities and
Writers Centres; from cafes to cabarets to conferences, and radio and
Since the mid-90s David has been giving poetry performances and
masterclasses for high school students in English and Drama, and for
tertiary students of creative writing. He has presented HSC masterclasses
on Judith Wright, Emily Dickinson, Bruce Dawe, Peter Skrzynecki and Ted
Hughes; and he is currently giving HSC presentations on Wilfred Owen,
Sylvia Plath and John Donne/Margaret Edson (with comprehensive study
notes); together with his own popular and well reviewed performance show
'Rhythm, Rhyme & Rap'.
|For over 25 years David has
managed and hosted two major spoken word venues on the North Coast
of NSW: Byron Bay’s ‘Writers at the Rails’ and Lismore’s ‘Live
Poets!’ He also featured at festivals and tours with the performance
troupe the 'Stand Up Poets' together with S Sorrensen, Christine
Strelan, David Heilpern and Shana Gelin.
David Hallett’s poetry is broadcast
regularly on ABC-Radio 2NR, and his poetry has featured on Triple J and
Radio National’s ‘Poetica’. David has also performed on ABC-TV’s ‘Sunday’
arts show, as well as ‘Bookchat’ and ‘Quantum’. David also featured in the
ABC’s National Poetry Day show ‘Voices’, and his poetry featured
prominently in the SBS documentary ‘Nearly Normal Nimbin’.
also has a new schools and festivals show titled 'A Century of Australian
Poetry' featuring a carousel of Oz works by CJ Dennis, Henry Lawson,
Judith Wright, and Kath Walker, as well as poems by Dawe, Skrzynecki,
Komninos, Tipping...and Hallett.
As one reviewer
wrote of his performance: “This is not poetry to be savoured in wistful
repose. This is stand up knock down stuff to split your sides in laughter
or rage. Sexual politics, social politics, political politics; this is
entertainment that jumps from the page to the stage, from the comedic to
the satiric to the deadly serious”.
In 2000 the National
Australia Day Council presented David with an achievement award for his
In November 2010 David launched a
major collection of his poetry titled 'Backwards: Selected poems
2010-1976'. The publication of over one hundred poems traces back over 35
years from his most contemporary writing to his early poems while working
at cotton and wheat harvests in the mid 1970's, through tours of outback
schools to the Sydney Opera House to the beat cafes of New
In December 2010 David
also launched a small collection of poems about Byron Bay titled 'Poetry
In Feb 2020 David began a
year long performance tour at Lismore's Live Poets with the book launch
of his latest collection of poems titled 'Out of the
David Hallett is a consummate performer, who remains on the
cutting edge of contemporary poetry in Australia.